Blue Line California Station opens and Damen Station closes


CTA Chair Terry Peterson, Sen. Iris Martinez, Mayor Emanuel, Acting IDOT Secretary Erica Borggren, Sen. Dick Durbin and CTA Pres. Claypool*

As part of the Your New Blue project the California Blue Line Station re-opened on Thurs., Oct. 16, to the delight of riders going to and coming from that station. People in the heart of Wicker Park are going to be feeling the closure pain with a 63-day shutdown of their Damen Station starting Mon., Oct. 20. 

While California station locals are appreciating a better looking and smelling station, local businesses are relieved that business should be getting back to normal. 

Revolution Brewing spokesperson Gabriel Boden told the RedEye that they had a 20% drop in business during the closing. Surrounded by food and entertainment venues, this could be a predictor for the Wicker Park and Bucktown venues pre-holiday period. The Damen Station is expected to re-open on Dec. 22. 

Riders and street traffic
There will be thousands of riders affected by the Damen closure. Ridership at that station has had the following averages for weekdays, Saturdays and Sundays. 


Daily Averages by year:



















 Choices for travelers are:
    • Access Blue Line trains from the adjacent Division and accessible Western stations, each of each of which are little more than a half a mile away from Damen  
    • Take advantage of additional service on the #56 Milwaukee bus route on weekdays and weekends to provide connections to the Division and Western stations, and added #70 Division bus service on weekday mornings during the AM rush period  
    • Overnight, customers can connect to Blue Line service via the temporary #N56 Damen Station Owl route, serving all bus stops between the Western and Division stations 

Street traffic impact
North Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic during these overnight hours over a 70-day period:

    • Sunday thru Thursday, nightly, 9pm to 5am next day
    • Friday and Saturday, nightly, 9pm to 7am next day
    • During North Avenue closures, the #72 North bus will be rerouted around the closure.
    • Pedestrian access will be maintained on one side of North Avenue at all times.

Damen Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic during these overnight hours:

      • Sunday thru Thursday, nightly, 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. next day
      • Friday and Saturday, nightly, 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. next day

CTA renderings of the new Damen Station

    • During Damen Avenue closures, the #50 Damen bus will be rerouted  around the closure.
    • Pedestrian access will be maintained on one side of Damen Avenue at all times.

End Result
The end result of the 63 days of inconvenience is to be a newly renovated historic station that is clean and good looking when it reopens on Dec. 22.

*Photo courtesy of the Chicago Transit Authority



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